Denno Leads 3GN Amateurs, Juniors
14-year-old Jake Denno has established huge early leads in both the 3GN Amateur and Junior divisions.
By Chad Adams
Jake Denno is making a statement. After only four events on the 2012 3-Gun Nation Outlaw Series, Denno has established monster leads in both the Amateur and Junior divisions. And if he keeps putting up the numbers he’s shown of late, then it’s going to take an extremely strong charge for anyone to catch him—in either race.
Denno, who just turned 14 years old in April and will be entering his freshman year of high school this fall at Sierra Vista, Arizona’s Buena High School, had a breakout season as a junior last year, qualifying for the 3GN Junior Shoot-Off. And the skill set has obviously improved. Coming off his best match of the season at Midwest 3-Gun, Denno finished fifth in Open, shooting a whopping 86-percent of Nick Kalishek’s winning score, behind the likes of only Kalishek, Tony Holmes, Jerry Miculek and James Darst, who aside from Kalishek’s breakout win are all household names in Open. In fact, Denno topped veterans Don Bednorz and Ralph Arrendondo, among others, an outstanding accomplishment in its own right.
As such, Denno now has a commanding lead in two 3GN point races. In the Amateur division, Denno is the only competitor with three posted scores, exaggerating his lead a bit. Craig Nordgren, with a one-match score of 76.89, could potentially close the gap, while Michael Atha (72.30) Chris Cazin (134.21, two scores), Aziz Brou (127.29, two scores), and John Browning (126.00, two scores) are within contention.
Denno, shooting his R&R Saiga, has made his money thus far in the Open division, running close to the top.
In the Junior division, Denno has established a surprisingly large lead over Katie Harris and Cody Leeper, the 2011 3GN Junior champion. Harris, who led the Junior division for most of 2011, is currently second with 189.23. Leeper, who suffered a DQ at MGM Ironman, is fifth with 79.47. However, if either Harris or Leeper can match numbers they’ve each put up earlier this year, then the Junior race could get interesting down the stretch. Harris’ best match this season was a 73.98, while Leeper posted a 78.47.
But that might be easier said than done. As each will have to average their top match for two more scores each, which would still leave them trailing by a handful of points, Denno may have established a lead that is too great to overcome.
After a DQ at MGM Ironman, Cody Leeper has some catching up to do if he is to repeat as 3GN Junior Champ.
While it’s still early on in the 2012 3-Gun Nation campaign, after four matches, Denno has nevertheless established himself as the young man to beat in both the 3GN Amateur and Junior races. If he can hold on to both, he’ll take home a check for $5,000 from Hornady and a Stag Arms 3G Competition rifle, along with the titles of 3-Gun Nation Amateur and Junior divisions champion.
To view the full 3GN Amateur Standings, click here >
To view the full 3GN Junior Standings, go to http://3gunnation.com/the_series/standings/j/juniors_standings.